Millions of students throughout Turkey will take the Higher Education Institutions Exam (YKS) over the weekend amid coronavirus restrictions.
Over 2.5 million students are expected to take the country's national university entrance exams, which will be held in three sessions over the weekend, taking place in two phases.
Students will take the first session of the YKS, the Basic Proficiency Test (TYT), on Saturday. The second session, comprising of the Field Proficiency Tests (AYT), will be held on Sunday, while students will sit for the Foreign Language Test (YDT) Sunday afternoon.
Officials have reiterated the necessity of using protective masks and observing social distancing rules during the exams. Some municipalities have been disinfecting schools ahead of the weekend when the exams will take place. They will also offer special services for the students who have contracted the coronavirus.
These include isolated classrooms for students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been receiving treatment. These students, whether in the hospital or remaining under quarantine in their homes, are to be taken to schools by ambulances and brought back to their homes after the exam in a continuation of practices established as part of last week's high school admission exam.
Earlier this month, the Interior Ministry announced a partial coronavirus curfew would come into effect across all of Turkey's provinces in line with university entrance exams between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 27, and between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on June 28.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey, a sudden hiatus was declared for classroom education as the country shut down schools and turned to distance learning on March 16. Anticipating a reopening of schools for months, the ministry was forced to conclude the second semester of the school year, resorting to the Education Information Network (EBA), an online education portal previously in limited use.
Remote education launched on March 23 was quickly embraced by students and teachers alike, quickly gaining widespread use. The program became Turkey's 10th most-visited website and the world’s third most-visited education website in a short period of time. Its mobile app has been downloaded more than 17 million times.
The government has also turned to television for distance learning, introducing a number of new TV stations under public broadcaster TRT.
TRT EBA has aired 2,516 hours of courses. More than 7 million students have actively used EBA so far.
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